July 16, 2017
How well do you remember junior high? Let me refresh your memory: It was a time when hormones were raging, boys didn’t know what showers were, and girls gossiped about each other in the bathroom stalls. It was a time when girls and guys realized that the opposite sex didn’t actually have cooties like they had been led to believe. And that moment, that small minuscule moment, is the realization that changed all of our lives.
In seventh grade I had a crush that lasted just about the whole school year. I remember seeing him for the first time and talking to him for the first time, and that feeling of oh-my-goodness-he’s-looking-at-me. I remember girls in middle and high school who were dating this guy then that guy and saying “oh-my-goodness-I’m-in-love-with-this-guy.” They made it their lives in middle school and high school. Everything was second to that guy and those feelings.
Truthfully? (I promise to only give you the truth here.) Truthfully, I haven’t felt the feelings of having a crush for quite some time. But I haven’t forgotten them. I think once you feel those things it’s hard to let them go. They are exhilarating and as every Taylor Swift song ever mentions, they are everything. Or, rather, they become everything. I mean, she made a career out of those feelings, didn’t she?
Here’s my thesis: What happens when those feelings aren’t everything? What do our lives look like when that isn’t the main focus?
It’s almost my junior year of college, I’ve never dated a guy, and truthfully, finding a guy has never been my main focus. In middle school I thought maybe I could be one of those girls who dated a guy or two, but I only thought that because my friends were meeting guys and it was all they talked about. Then high school came around and after a while, it was almost nothing to me. I had the best friends anyone could ask for and my introverted personality made it easy for me to prefer staying in on a Friday night rather than going out. However, a part of me always felt like I was expected to meet my future husband before graduation.
(This is the part where I want you to pause and imagine that I’m sitting next to you rolling my eyes and sighing so loud it might actually be my final breath leaving my body. Okay, take a deep breath, let’s refocus. This is the good part. I’m digging deep here, nothing but truth. You ready?)
The things you learn about yourself and about your true, not-influenced-by-anyone-else goals and desires after high school graduation is astounding. Suddenly there isn’t a whole class of people who you want to know your name. Suddenly there isn’t anybody but you, and you’ve got to figure out what you want for yourself. For me, that included staying home from college and taking apart and rebuilding myself everyday. I’m not kidding. Everyday there was something new about myself that tacked on or something old that withered away. I cried more than I’d like to admit, but every tear was worth it. And guess what? Not a single one of those days involved me looking for the love of my life. In my mind, there was no boyfriend that I was “supposed” to have.
Ladies, I don’t think there is ever going to be a time in your life where you are not expected to have or be looking for a boyfriend (except maybe birth – 12 years old). We are supposed to find this guy who “completes us” and maybe “supports us” (usually in a financial way). We are supposed to fall in love just as the rain begins to fall, giggling as we huddle under the same umbrella. Truthfully? I don’t think it happens like that.
The point of this post isn’t to tell you how it happens, because I don’t know. And when (if) I do, you’ll probably read about it right here on this blog. But for now, I want to tell you that the boyfriend you’re “supposed” to have is all in society’s head. If he isn’t standing at your front door repeatedly pressing the doorbell (probably already driving you insane), then that should be okay. It’s completely okay to function as a single bean. You should rebuild yourself and tear it apart and maybe even pray for that future husband if you feel inclined. You should love your friends and the family you have to the greatest capacity and try to be at peace with where you are right now. To all of our dismay, this future husband probably won’t come riding in on the back of a white horse to save you from a fire-breathing dragon. (But, hey, if there’s a fire-breathing dragon chasing after you, then it’s probably God who will do the saving.)
Society continues to tell us that we are supposed to spend every single moment of our lives looking for this long lost soulmate. We’re supposed to be on a crowded train one day when all of a sudden we look up and time stops because there he is – tall, blonde, handsome, and waiting for you with a bouquet of roses. Suddenly, everything is perfect and we are overcome with this rushing happiness that ends all sadness and gives us everything we’ve been missing.
(This is another part where I want you to picture me sitting next to you and sighing. Don’t forget the eye roll!)
I feel as if this is the thing we’ve been taught since middle school: To go after them, to make them want us, for us to want them. It’s become our main focus, pushing away what really should be our main focus. We all like to believe in fairytales and Prince Charming, but when it becomes our only goal or we’re under the impression that it’s the only thing that’s going to make us happy, we need to stop and reevaluate. Right now, at this moment, in this season of singleness, there is no boyfriend that you are supposed to have. Yep, you read that right. If you were supposed to have him right now, he would be there. When the time comes, God will send him in, maybe or maybe not riding on the back of a white horse towards your balcony. (Sometimes you have to save yourself first.)
Life doesn’t start when you fall in love with your future spouse. (Disclaimer: A part of it does, a section or chapter, if you will. Again, I wouldn’t actually know.) From what I’ve learned, the good part, the beefy part of life begins when you fall in love with God then, in turn, fall in love with yourself. Life begins when you fall in love with God and take the path that He has laid for you. The path isn’t always the easiest to find, I’ll tell you that, but each small step is worth it. God’s path always has the best thing waiting at the end – especially if it’s just Him standing there. Especially.
Truthfully? When I was in middle and high school, I thought I would never get married because guys weren’t falling over me. They didn’t notice me or think I was desirable. The only thing they wanted from me? Homework answers. Yeah. Ouch. I thought that because guys weren’t falling over me I was “defective” in some way.
But friends, the Lord has totally and completely changed my heart. I know now for a fact that I’m not defective. There’s not a single guy on this planet who could tell me I’m defective and then hear me say, “You’re right.” If a guy would’ve said that to me in high school, I would have agreed without a doubt in my mind. Today? No way, no thanks, good day, sir. I know a love far greater than what any human is capable of. And that love has proven to me that “defective” doesn’t even come close making the list of things that describe me.
In conclusion, I really don’t know anything except that God’s love is greater than this “supposed-to-be” boyfriend. It’s a weird topic, isn’t it? I wrote something similar to this just last year, but I still don’t feel like I’ve covered it in any way. I still feel like there’s so much to unpack here. I know this has been a long post, so if you take anything at all away from this post, please take this: You can’t control when or where or how you fall in love. But you can control how you live the days leading up to that love. Believe in yourself, your strength, your heart, your goals. Most importantly, believe in a God who will pull you through even when that “supposed-to-be-boyfriend” isn’t there. That’s what’s most important.